When shopping for a fixed gear bike you’ll notice several available “fixie” frame sizes and may have wondered about the differences between these frame sizes. This article will discuss the differences between fixie frame sizes of 49 cm, 53 cm, and 57 cm and how to choose a frame size that is right for you.
A frame size is usually categorized by the length of the seat tube, which ultimately determines how far a seated cyclist’s feet have to go to touch the pedals and the ground. Sizing measurements of fixie frames can vary depending on the type of bike and the manufacturer. Generally speaking, a 49 cm frame is considered small, a 53 cm frame is considered medium, and a 57 cm frame is considered large, but there is more than just the size of the frame to factor in when selecting your fixie.
A 49 cm frame is considered a small fixie frame. Obviously, smaller fixie frames are preferred by shorter riders, but there are other characteristics of a small frame to think about. Many riders concerned with performance prefer smaller frames since they enable lower handlebar positions, allowing more power and acceleration. Lower handlebar positions tend to be less comfortable but yield higher performance if you want to get moving. Taller riders who find small frames too uncomfortable to ride should choose a larger frame.
53 cm frames are in the medium range of frames. This is a great well-rounded fixie frame size that gives the average-proportioned rider a comfortable ride, as well as an excellent combination of performance and stability. Other parts of the bike can be adjusted such as handlebars and saddles to accommodate different riders with different types of styles.
A 57 cm frame is considered a large bike frame. Larger frames tend to offer more stable rides and are great for tall riders. Handlebar positions can be set high on the 57 cm frame, allowing for a comfortable seated position for a rider who just wants to cruise, although some performance is sacrificed when riding in this position. Shorter riders should consider that they may have a hard time with the pedals on a larger bike, and touching the ground or resting may become uncomfortable or even impossible.
As you would expect, different bicycle frame sizes are appropriate for different rider body types. Smaller frames tend towards higher performance, such as higher maneuverability and acceleration rates, while larger frames enable higher stability and comfort. While saddle and handlebar positions are adjustable on each frame, the frame that is right for you ultimately depends on your body type, as well as your desired riding style. Shop for a fixie bike that features a frame size that is right for you.